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memories for a lifetime

Preserving the Peaks: A Wilderness Service Challenge

PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

Program Theme: Conservation & Wildlife 

Destination: Blue & John Crow Mountains, Jamaica

Duration: 9 Days

Tuition: $1,400 USD

Date: July 6 – 20, 2024

Age Group: 14 – 18

Service Hours: 25

Group Size: 20 Students & 3 Staff

OVERVIEW

Explore Jamaica’s Tropical Rainforest

On this program, you’ll journey to Jamaica’s tropical rainforest high in the Blue and John Crow Mountains. After viewing its rustic landscape, there will be no question why it has been recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. The majestic slopes span across four parishes and from its remarkable summit, one can see both the North and South coasts of the island. 

This region is a perfect area against which to learn about the many indigenous plant species of Jamaica, wilderness survival skills, and the famous Blue Mountain coffee. 

The Blue & John Crow Mountains is also known for its endless outdoor adventure activities, so be ready to hike, go swimming, and immerse in the life of the descendants of the Maroons – runaway slaves.

Highlights

Community Service

To preserve the overwhelming beauty and the many endemic plant and animal species in this exquisite ecosystem, it’s critical to come up with a plan that targets conservation and reforestation.

Students will be aiding in these preservation efforts through a variety of service projects. You’ll be instrumental in executing this vision. In this time, you will not only learn wilderness survival skills, but you will also develop critical leadership skills that will prove to be invaluable over the course of your life. 

Work with a local NGO to aid in their conservation efforts by helping on a tree planting project, the maintenance of hiking trails, and the removal of invasive species that threaten the biodiversity of the rainforest.

HANDS-ON LEARNING

Living in the Blue Mountains is an incredible way to learn about the biodiversity of the region. You’ll get to discover the unique landscape and wildlife. You’ll also gain a wide scope of knowledge through workshops with a local NGO that manages the Blue & John Crow Mountain National Park. Students will also brainstorm ways to create sustainable change to some of the challenges facing this Blue Mountain community. 

You’ll also have the unique opportunity to be immersed in the lives of the indigenous people, the Charles Town Maroons. Through this full day tour, students will learn about the descendants of runaway slaves who bravely escaped to the mountains to form independent settlements as free men and women. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the process of making coffee and the challenges faced by local farmers. 

Blue Mountains, Jamaica

Preserving the Peaks: A Wilderness Service Challenge

Adventure

Adventure awaits you around every corner of this program. You’ll have the opportunity to hike the rugged mountainous slopes and take in views from different altitudes and perspectives along the way. Students are sure to embark on some hidden waterfalls such as Fish Dunns Falls. Cascading falls are an excellent way to cool off after a long hike. Students on this program will also have the opportunity to explore Cinchona Gardens and camp for a day.

Follow up this amazing experience with an exciting beach trip. Is there anything better than a summer day at the beach? You get to enjoy the sun, sand, and water while indulging in some delicious local cuisine.

ACCOMMODATION

Nestled in this Blue & John Crow Mountains paradise, is Silver Hill Estate eco-lodge which will be your home base. The estate is a chalet-style home and a true wellness retreat for students returning from hiking or working on a project all day.

This picturesque estate boasts many stunning panoramic views of the mountains and has over 122 species of flowers that are contained on the property. You’ll be able to get a farm-to-table dining experience on this estate as there’s a coffee and organic vegetable farm on-site.

Silver Hill Estate offers shared gender-segregated, dorm style rooms and bathrooms along with many comfortable areas to take in the unspoiled scenery.

What's included

What's Not included

Blue Mountains, Jamaica

Preserving the Peaks: A Wilderness Service Challenge ​

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